Events Events


Connecting present and future Smart Specialisation Strategy: the challenges for governance, industrial transition and international collaboration

General Information

This seminar was organized by the JRC Lagging Regions project in collaboration with AREA Science Park of Trieste and the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts of Croatia. The event, part of the Strategic Project to support the establishment of Innovation Network for Industry and Thematic Innovation Platforms co-funded by the European Structural and Investment Funds, took place on the 30th of January in Zagreb.

Three aspects of Smart Specialisation were discussed in the light of the EC fulfilment criteria for the enabling condition of good governance of the forthcoming programming period, namely: industrial transition, governance, and international collaboration. A range of international speakers provided experiences and practices from different European regions.

Results and the lessons learned from the DG REGIO pilot action “Regions in Industrial Transition” were presented. This centred on work in 12 selected pilot regions, addressing future key challenges of the digital revolution, low-carbon energy transition, circular economy and inclusive growth via innovation-led approaches. This was followed by successive round tables on governance and then international collaboration.

The aim of the first round table was to explore good governance in both its national (Croatian Smart Specialisation Strategy is centrally managed) and local dimensions. Experiences from three countries - Northern Netherlands, Romania and Spain (the Basque Country) - provided different approaches to governance enhancement, with reference to both vertical and horizontal structures as well as institutional and non-institutional development players.

The second round table, involving Hungary, Portugal and Italy (Emilia-Romagna Region) explored whether and how to generate higher mobility of resources, competences and ideas between territories and through the implementation of Smart Specialisation in order to foster interaction dynamics of research and innovation.

Agenda and Presentations


08.15 – 08.45


08.45 – 09.00

Welcome address

09.00 – 11.00

Innovation Policies and Smart Specialisation Strategy: Challenges for the Future

11.00 – 11.30

Coffee & networking

11.30 – 13.00

Good Governance of Smart Specialisation Strategy - Comparative Approach

Elisa Gerussi, Economic and Policy Analyst at the JRC-EC moderating a round table of three EU experiences:

  • Northern Netherlands (Luc Hulsman, Programme Manager at Northern Netherlands Alliance - SNN)
  • Romania (Madalina Istrate, Counsellor at the Management Authority for the Regional Operational Programme, Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration)
  • Romania (Ioan Levitchi, Director at the Centru - Regional Development Agency)

13.00 – 14.00

Lunch & networking

14.00 – 15.00

International Collaboration and Smart Specialisation

15.00 – 16.00

International Collaboration and Smart Specialisation - Comparative Approach

Elisa Gerussi, Economic and Policy Analyst at the JRC-EC moderating a round table of three EU experiences:

  • Hungary (Balázs Barta, Managing Director at Pannon Business Network)
  • Italy, Emilia Romagna Region (Valeria Bandini, Head of the Europe and International Unit at Attractiveness, Research, Territory of Emilia Romagna - ART-ER)
  • Portugal (Alexandre Almeida, Coordinator of the National Smart Specialization Strategy the National Innovation Agency - ANI)
  • Q&A

16.00 – 16.30







Zagreb, Croatia

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